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their reception. In various instances the probability is, that children have been supported upon alms, to whom, had their parents lived an estate would have descended; and perhaps some are now passing under a name very different from that of their parents, because it cannot be ascertained who their parents were. The instances of sickness and of death among us, have been few during the year which we are looking back upon, compared with what we have experienced.

Can we not say, without having a party spirit imputed to us, that we are bound to be thankful that the government of this commonwealth is lodged in the hands of men who so prudently conduct its concerns. Those must be acknowledged to be good rulers, who regard the welfare of all those over whom their commission and influence extend; and who, in all their appointments and removals of men acting under them, calculate not upon an increase of popularity to themselves, but upon the probable advantageous result to the public.

Leaving others unmentioned, he who is at the head of our state affairs, is a rare instance. How many times has he been called to the same office; and that in a period of time peculiarly critical, when the conflict of parties has been violent, and when each party has resisted almost unto blood? Sharp and poisoned arrows have been shot at his heart, and his head; but he has neither been killed nor wounded. Collected and composed he leaves it to others to carry on the fight, and hardly proceeds so far as to say to those who would displace him; Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also; _For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise; For ye suffer if a man bring you into bondage; if a man devour you; if a man take of you; if a man exalt himself; if a man smite you on the face. Having tried him for several years, the people tried to do without him; but were convinced by sad experience, that they had no man like minded, who would naturally care for their state. Would any man, fit for the office, at his time of life, and with his reputation, from any motive but a sense of duty, forego the pleasures of his sequestered condition, to take upon himself a load of public cares, always irksome,

but now more so than common? When the mariner leaves the unruffled port for the stormy ocean; it is not because he would rather plough the billows which run high as the mountains than lie at anchor by the shore; but because he anticipates the gain for which he is willing to risk the consequences of the voyage.

We hear from various places abroad, that God is appearing in his glory to build up Zion. Great additions have been made to the Church of Christ in different parts of our land; and in some instances, it has been a strange work; nothing like it having ever been seen before among the people. Colleges, and other seminaries of learning, have witnessed the out pouring of the Spirit; and many of the rising generation, who will be called to fill conspicuous places, have experienced that change of heart which will qualify them for usefulness. Religion has answered a valuable purpose without learning; and it is always to be preferred to learning without religion; but when both can go together, it is very desirable that they should. If it would

rejoice us to be assured that our public coffers were filled to the brim; it ought far more to fill us with joy, if multitudes of our fellow creatures, and of our countrymen, have obtained the pearl of great price, the one thing needful. All things which perish with the using, are insufficient to bring us contentment. For that we must have godliness.

As we are required to pray, that the kingdom of God may come, and his will be done on earth as it is done in heaven; we should be thankful for the promise, that such a state of things shall be accomplished. Referring to the future condition of the Church we may say with peculiar propriety and emphasis, Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation; a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers, and streams, wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ships pass thereby. The rulers of the darkness of this world, shall be effectually overthrown. And the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the

saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Sin made it necessary for our first parents to leave the enchanting garden of Eden. Sin has made the world a wilderness. Nothing but religion can make it rejoice, and blossom as the rose. Were the wild beasts; the owls; the satyrs, and other doleful creatures, which inhabit Babylon, to be expelled, and were the city to appear again in the grandeur of ancient times; were Tyre to return to her former traffic; and were the dead sea to be drained off so as to show the beauty of the plain which it now covers; there would still be a deficiency without the knowledge and love of God.

It is impossible to determine, precisely, how long it will be before God will spread over the world the robe of righteousness; before he will engage all in his service, of every order, and rank, from him who holds the sceptre, to him who holds the plough. It is pretty well agreed, however, among commentators, from dates well established, that three score years will, hardly, pass away, before the world will be prepared for the commencement of a reign of righteousness. The measures of the divine government, are now so obviously tending to this end, that he must be blind who is not sensible of it; and he must be obstinate who does not acknowledge it.

Societies under various names are formed and forming for the express purpose of rooting out vice, and of increasing virtue, by diffusing knowledge upon moral and religious subjects. Bible, and Missionary, Societies, for the benefit of the ignorant at home, and of the heathen abroad, are multiplying with such rapidity, that we are compelled to say, This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. Who would think, so sordid is the human heart, and so reluctant are multitudes to support the gospel where they live, that pecuniary means would be supplied, sufficient to send religious instruction to the dark corners of the earth.

So unwilling are men in general, to be separated from their friends, and the comforts of domestic life, that we should, hardly, believe any could be found, who would vol

unteer to quit their native land forever; to cross the ocean; and to settle on some distant continent, or island, among a wild, uncultivated people having no personal interest in view, nor any object but to render service to utter strangers. So opposed is human nature to the truth, and so tenacious are idolaters to their own objects, and ways of worship, that all attempts to withdraw them from their course, and to give them a new direction, are attended with much difficulty, and hazard. The mountain of difficulties however, becomes a plain, when God calls Zerubbabel to his work. We see, that God, formerly, raised up men, who, through faith, subdued kingdoms; wrought righteousness; obtained promises; stopped the mouths of lions; quenched the violence of fire; escaped the edge of the sword; out of weakness were made strong; waxed valiant in fight; turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Such men are now needed for this business; and God can provide them, and qualify them for himself. Into many different languages of the pagan world are the sacred scriptures already translated, and the progress made continually in this work calls for our continual praise and thanksgiving.

Are not those streaks of light in the east to be considered as harbingers of the sun, hastening to rise, and shine, upon the earth which has been wrapped up in darkness. Are not the good tidings of great joy of which the angel of the Lord spake to the shepherds, in a fair way to be proclaimed to all people? If the success should be no greater than it has been for a few years past, it would require no very considerable length of time to furnish all nations with the written word of God, in their several languages.

Already, in some instances, have the new converts from idolatry begun to be fellow workers with those who were instrumental of first bringing them to the knowledge of the truth. Such preachers of righteousness, we may expect, will be more numerous from year to year. When the Pagans, and the Jews, shall be addressed by their own kindred, by those who have labored under the same delusions with themselves, it is to be hoped, that the effects will be unusually visible, and glorious.

When you assemble in this place, my friends, for the transaction of some secular business, you attend to the articles, as they are read to you from the warrant, and your words, and actions, show that you take an interest in what is passing. We are called together at this time, by the voice of our rulers; and the proclamation is our warrant, detailing the business. You see from the text how the Israelites proceeded, when, pretending to keep a feast to the Lord, they indulged their own corrupt propensities. Are you disposed to follow their example, and incur the displeasure of that God, who always regards the same things in the same manner. The watchman has done his duty when he has warned the wicked to consider his way; and to amend his conduct.

As a candidate, twenty one years ago, I preached for the first time, upon such an occasion as this, in this place. The last sabbath made out twenty one years of my ministry. Though those of you who were then just opening your eyes upon the light of the world have now finished your minority; to older persons the period will probably, appear as short as it does to me. It becomes us all to look backward and forward, with serious reflections.

I cannot say, that during my stay among you there have been seven years of spiritual plenty. But have there not been many more years of spiritual famine, so, that the plenty which we have had is nearly forgotten, and the famine almost consumes the land.

Errors excepted, in the enumeration, two hundred and twenty two persons have been received into this church since my connexion with you; and the body now consists of one hundred and thirty members. According to this estimate, the church here, has lost in the term of twenty one years, by death, and otherwise, as many persons as then belonged to it, and ninety two members who have, within that term, been added. With such a changing scene before us shall we not say of laughter, it is mad, and of mirth, what doth it?

Let me recommend it to you to consider how this Thanksgiving will be observed in those places where the enjoyments of religion are more prized by the people than

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